Popular Lancaster Teen Shot and Killed
High school student and athlete gunned down outside a community center after a basketball game.
LANCASTER, SC — A popular local high school student and athlete gunned down outside a community center after a basketball game.
Now, Lancaster police are searching for the shooter, as the community mourns another homicide victim, and residents are asking what can be done to stop kids from killing kids.
“You have two types of people,” says Jerry Cauthen, an assistant basketball coach and counselor at Lancaster. “You have givers, and you have takers. And Allen Cooper was a giver.”
17-year-old Allen Cooper was loved by many. The senior at Lancaster High School was a leader on the school’s basketball team, and a favorite among his teachers.
“I just spoke with a teacher this morning who said she loved having him in her class,” says Lancaster Head Coach Ricardo Priester. “So he was an excellent student.”
Cooper was shot and killed outside the Hope on a Hill Community Center Wednesday night after a rec league basketball game. His high school coaches and family say he was good kid.
“Very unselfish,” says Cauthen. “You know, showed a lot of leadership abilities. And most of all, another thing, huge thing that he possessed was he was a very loving young man. He loved his family.”
“Well known in the community,” says Cooper’s stepfather Richard Gillam. “All around athlete on the basketball court. Good grades, very academic in school. On his way to college somewhere.”
Allen Cooper is the second teen killed in Lancaster this month. 19-year-old Marquis Evans was gunned down at the Carolina Court Apartments on April 12th.
“They’re all our responsibility,” says Priester. “They’re all children. And they all deserve opportunity to have a bright future. And I feel like we as adults, we need to start taking responsibility, and stop blaming the kids.”
Anyone with information on either homicide is asked to contact the Lancaster Police Department.